The recent surge in advancements of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is causing widespread interest across all industries.
But what does the adoption of AI mean for the manufacturing industry?
AI and its uses
Artificial Intelligence (AI) combines computer science, engineering, robotics and data science to give machines human-like intelligence. Whilst AI is no match for experienced workers, there are some key ways the manufacturing industry can use AI to their advantage:
AI can analyse data from multiple sources, including IoT sensors, to identify patterns and anomalies in production processes.
The information can be used to identify bottlenecks in production and areas for improvement, as well as reduce waste and improve quality.
Predict Maintenance Issues
AI can predict when machines are likely to fail by analysing data from sensors on the equipment.
These early indicators will alert operators to perform essential maintenance before a breakdown occurs, helping to reduce downtime, improve productivity and extend the lifespan of equipment.
AI can use computer vision techniques to analyse images of products and identify defects and anomalies in real-time. It’s possible to detect damage to a product or its packaging.
This can improve quality control and reduce the number of defective products that make it to market. Reducing waste and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Supply Chain Management
AI can analyse data from suppliers, logistics providers and other sources to optimise the supply chain.
AI will look at historical data to identify demand trends, to help with inventory planning, ensuring the right stock levels, to prevent waste and ensure customer demands are met. With AI algorithms it’s possible to analyse the effectiveness of suppliers, and consider transportation costs, delivery time slots and load capacities to establish efficient routes.
The integration of AI can help to reduce costs, improve efficiency and minimise disruptions within the supply chain.
AI can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as data entry and report generation, freeing up employees to focus on more strategic tasks.
AI can monitor processes in real-time, providing instant feedback to operators on process performance. This can help operators make quick decisions to adjust the process to address issues as they arise, to maintain quality and efficiency. As well as allow organisations to continuously improve and optimise their processes.
The Soumac View
It has been interesting tracking the path of AI so far and to see how it is developing and gaining traction within many industries.
Although manufacturers would have to make a significant investment to use AI within their businesses, it has become apparent that using AI responsibly could be advantageous. As AI can improve quality control, reduce waste, identify issues in production and spot maintenance needs early, to prevent downtime and improve productivity.
There are still widespread concerns regarding the cost of implementing AI and ethical concerns over job security and accountability if machines were to replace humans. However, if companies remain cautious in its use, it does seem possible to work alongside AI and benefit from it.
It will be interesting to see how manufacturers adopt AI and use it to their advantage, as the technology continues to develop.
At Soumac, we love to see the technological developments being made across all sectors and are always on hand to support businesses with their printed circuit board assembly needs, to help bring their ideas to life.
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